Bowie Hogg, District 7

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 1. Protection of Taxpayers' Dollars – please respond by February 29, 2024

How much of a priority should be placed on protecting taxpayers' dollars? If we are granting dollars for “economic development” should the company be vetted? Should an “economic development” grant require an actual application? Why or why not?

As a council member, top priority should always be placed on protecting the taxpayers dollar. The council is the stewards of the public's money and we must always be diligent in any use. Granting economic development dollars must show we are doing it for the best interest of Arlington Taxpayers. As a council we must assure that the dollars of the EDC are used in the best way possible for the trust of the taxpayer and try to create more economic development. All companies should (and are) vetted, but beyond vetting the contract must attempt to protect the City to achieve the results for all parties.

 

2. Density – please respond by March 7, 2024

a. How do you feel about changing commercially zoned properties to multi-family zoned properties? Why?

b. What if the area already contains many, many apartments such as southeast Arlington in the Hwy 360 corridor?

c. How do you feel about RMU (Regional Mixed Use) zoning and its potential 100 units/acre? Why?

I believe we as the city council must navigate the challenge of allowing the market to speak for itself and balancing an overall design and vision of our city. Changes in zoning must be considered on a case by case basis. Arlington has too many apartments that need to be redeveloped and the redevelopment must be a priority. Apartments creating redevelopment should be considered first before infill development. It also seems that apartments are overtaxing the infrastructure of key areas, such as the Lamar Blvd and the 360 Corridor. When an area is overbuilt we are doing a disservice to the neighborhoods we already have in place. We must work on neighborhood integrity for our current neighborhoods to assure they are still receiving the benefits of their neighborhood without excess build. RMU and its potential 100 units/acre must be a very specific site, as this is only for sites with at least 20 acres and a large development. The right site, at the right time, with the right developer, RMU can work- and it is the job of the city council to ensure all those pieces are in place before approving.

 

3. Citizen Participation – please respond by March 14, 2024

In 2023 the city council voted to require preregistration and reduce speaking time for citizen participation (at the end of the meeting). Do you agree with this move? Is two minutes enough time to describe a situation and make desired comments/solutions/etc.?

Citizen participation in the governing process is critical. No changes were made for agenda items that citizens want to speak on, as citizens are not required to pre-register and still have three minutes as previously allowed. The change occurred for non-agenda speakers at the end of the meeting. I do believe for non-agenda items, pre-registering helps actually produce solutions to residents, as it allows staff to potentially assist speakers with information before or after the council meeting. I would be open to the proposal of potentially going back to the previous time of 3 minutes for non-agenda item speakers. Observing citizens these last few months it does seem residents are able to get their thoughts and opinions out in the time frame allotted and the preregistration has allowed staff to provide better information to council and speakers about the items they are speaking about.

 

4. Corporate Welfare – please respond by March 21, 2024

The City Council has given away millions of dollars and/or potential revenues to companies to encourage development. At what point has there been enough “encouragement” and when should the taxpayers-- and lowering tax rates-- become a higher priority than development? Why?

Lowering our tax rate should always be a top priority as that is a smart strategy for our residents and businesses. Reinvesting in our city helps drive satisfaction for residents as well as lower tax rates. The Economic Development Corporation was approved by voters, and it must be used in a very strategic manner as one of the many tools to bring more revenue into the city. As a council we must assure the agreements produce a return on investment and bring actual value to the city in the case a partner does not uphold their side of commitment.

 

5. Communications – please respond by March 28, 2024

If you receive an e-mail from a constituent on an Arlington issue and the constituent logically laid out and well documented the issue, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not? What actions will you take?

Constituent services is a key part of serving as an elected position and might I say possibly the most important function, as we serve the people. I have continued to live by the practice of being an open book for a discussion and providing a response even if it is a time we might disagree. I have found this practice helps me build a stronger foundation to my thoughts on how I plan to address an issue, it has also helped me think of all sides and determine how I will proceed. Disagreements occur, but I think all parties must understand we may need each other for the next vote or issue. My track record has always been the highest on communication and response, and I have made it a point to be open in communication, agreement or disagreement. My personal cell phone is always available (817.565.2636), as it has been since I have been serving, as well as reaching out through e-mail and other traditional manners.

 

6. Issues – please respond by April 4, 2024

Other than public safety what is the most important issue the city council is currently facing? Why? What are your suggestions for addressing this issue?

Public Safety is always the most important issue, as we must have a safe city to have a thriving city. The second most important issue, I believe, is neighborhood integrity. Arlington is in a major redevelopment phase. We have a great need to tear down dilapidated buildings that do not benefit our community. With that we must always take into account our current neighborhoods. Residents that choose to live here must have their needs met and we should bring in developments that increase their neighborhood satisfaction and not decrease it. We must protect the road infrastructure and even consider road design standards to increase traffic efficiency and provide the neighborhood integrity that current residents want when they invest in Arlington.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent May 25, 2022 -

Transparency - Please respond by June 14, 2022.
 
If  the city council approves an item for hundreds of thousands of dollars and the taxpayers and citizens receive no benefit from the decision, should the staff conduct an investigation as to what happened, with recommendations of how the "loss" can be avoided in the future? Should the investigation results and recommendations be made available to the public? Why or why not?

Can you give me an example for this question?  I would love to answer, but I am afraid a lot of the answer is going to be depending on legal approval, anytime an investigation comes into play, I know legal starts putting all kinds of rules in place.  I would hope we would disclose everything we possibly could.  I look at the example of the City being at fault for the splash pad where a child lost his life, and I feel like they disclosed the investigation.

 

///////////On March 30, 2021, the City Council approved, 8-1, a 380 Grant Agreement with Legal Draft Beer, for $200,000, Resolution 21-067.
 
Less than one year later Legal Draft Beer goes out of business, having not met the conditions of the agreement.
 
Public Information Request W132195-032722 requesting some of the financials used to issue the grant produced, "After reviewing your request and advising with legal, it is concluded that the City of Arlington has no responsive records."
 

Public Information Request W132500-040122 requested the application by Legal Draft Beer for the grant. The result was, "

Your public information request to the City of Arlington, received 4/1/2022, has been referred to me for response. We have searched our records and have been unable to locate any records maintained by the City responsive to your request for records. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this matter. Sincerely, Economic Development///////////

Yes I believe it should be looked into and contracts should be made public if legally allowed.  I was not on the council, when this was approved, so I do not know the details but will ask questions.

 

 

1. Sales Tax – please respond by March 3, 2022

In November 2020 voters passed a measure to increase the sales tax another ¼ cent to 8.25% for the funding of an Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Claims supporting this measure included helping small shops recover from the pandemic. Have they performed what was promised? What are your thoughts on the EDC's purpose, effectiveness, and the tax? Why?

The EDC was passed by voters, so now the job of the City Council has to be to ensure the dollars of the EDC are used in the best way possible to honor the trust the taxpayers gave. The EDC is still in its infancy with only a couple of projects at this point. I appreciate the stewardship displayed so far to ensure the structure is built to get the most value for taxpayers of the EDC. The national search and hiring of an Executive Director, seems to be the smartest first step to provide structure and deeper strategy. I believe corporate welfare is used too often, but with the will of the voters, we now must be very targeted as we endeavour to use the EDC to benefit all of Arlington.

 

 

2. Density – please respond by March 10, 2022

How do you feel about changing commercially zoned properties to multi-family zoned properties? What if the area already contains many, many apartments such as southeast Arlington in the Hwy 360 corridor? How do you feel about RMU (Regional Mixed Use) zoning and its potential 100 units/acre? Why?

I believe we as the city council are tasked with allowing the market to speak for itself and balancing an overall design and vision of our city. Changes in zoning must to be considered on a case by case basis. Arlington has too many apartments that need to be redeveloped and the redevelopment must be a priority. Apartments creating redevelopment should be considered first before infill development. It also seems that apartments are overtaxing the infrastructure of key areas, such as the 360 Corridor, which seems on the brink of being overbuilt, like North Arlington. When an area is overbuilt we are doing a disservice to the neighborhoods we already have in place. We must work on neighborhood integrity for our current neighborhoods to assure they are still receiving the benefits of their neighborhood without excess build. RMU and its potential 100 units/acre must be a very specific site, as this is only for sites with at least 20 acres and a large development. The right site, at the right time, with the right developer, RMU can work- and it is the job of the city council to ensure all those pieces are in place before approving.

 

 

3. Transportation – please respond by March 17, 2022

VIA's funding for the past year has been covered by federal money because of the pandemic. When things return to “normal” funding, let's assume that the Federal Grant will cover approximately 25%. At that time, how should the service level and pricing structure be arranged between the general fund and riders? Why?

VIA must become self-sustaining. When the federal money provided by the pandemic is no longer available, VIA must find a path to being profitable, or work to utilize other grant funding mechanisms. The price per ride needs to increase, additional grant funding must be found, or alternative funding sources must be put in place. Each dollar spent from the city budget limits the services the city can provide, and a path to profitability must be in place. Each taxpayer dollar spent on VIA, a system residents were assured would become self-sustaining, needs to be accounted for and showing a benefit to all the residents.

 

 

4. Corporate Welfare – please respond by March 24, 2022

The City Council has given away millions of dollars and/or potential revenues to companies to encourage development. At what point has there been enough “encouragement” and the taxpayers, and lowering tax rates, should become a higher priority? Why?

Reinvestment into the city must be very strategic and used as one of the many tools to bring more revenue into the city. Taxpayers and lowering the tax rate should always be a top priority, and on certain developments this can help lower the tax rate. As a council we must assure the agreements guarantee a return on investment and bring actual value to the city in the case a partner does not uphold their side of commitment. The EDC was approved by voters, so now it needs to be utilized on the most valuable deals to our city.

 

 

5. Communications – please respond by March 31, 2022

If a constituent emails you a question or comment on an issue about which you disagree and asks you for a response, will you respond to the constituent? Why or why not?

Constituent services is a key part of serving as an elected position. Providing a response is critical even if it is a time we might disagree. I have found this practice helps me build a stronger foundation to my thoughts on how I plan to address an issue, it has also helped me think of all sides and determine how I will proceed. Disagreements occur, but I think all parties must understand we may need each other for the next vote or issue. My track record has always been the highest on communication and response, and I have made it a point to be open in communication, agreement or disagreement. My e-mail (bowie@bowiehogg.com) and cell phone is always available(817.565.2636), as it has been since I have been serving.

 

 

 

6. Issue – please respond by April 7, 2022

What is the most important issue the city council is currently facing? Why? What are your suggestions for addressing this issue?

 

I believe the most important issue the council is facing is fulfilling our safety obligations with Police and Fire. For the first time the City of Arlington Police Department did not fill their entire police academy class and we are losing 4 experienced officers a month. If we can’t provide a safe city, all of the development will move to other cities. I plan to work on a multiple year larger strategic plan with Police, Fire, and Staff to work on retention and recruitment as well as address their needs of staffing levels, benefits, and working conditions. The first thing we could do would be to allow a veteran exemption to recruitment of officers. The APD requires all officers to have a 4 year degree. As the City of Arlington is going to be home to the National Medal of Honor Museum, we should allow experienced veterans without a college degree to join our men and women in blue. For Fire we are hosting the largest firefighter conference in the nation in 2026 and we need to show we have the premier levels of commitment to our firefighters with potential staffing, station coverage, and benefits adjustments to retain and continue to recruit the best. I am proud to say I have been endorsed by the Arlington Police Association, and the Arlington Professional Fire Fighters Association.